“Huge” Hawks win perfect script for Tilly

“YOU could no have scripted that any better”

It was the thought on every Hawthorn fan’s mind when captain Tilly Lucas-Rodd kicked the final goal of the match in her 50th game to defeat Port Adelaide. After a hard-fought slog where the Power did not take their chances and the Hawks did, the brown and gold army continued the incredible ride the coach Bec Goddard has taken them on this season. The Hawthorn coach summed it up perfectly when it came to describing just how the the Hawks’ third consecutive win felt.

“It’s huge, pretty exciting to win three I think we’re not really looking at it in its totality though,” Goddard said. “We’ve looked at each week as it’s gone by and what we wanted to see was progress each week. We’ve got 18 players that have made their AFLW debuts this year now. To see progress in them and get away with a few wins in a row is really exciting for them.”

Goddard’s Hawks broke through for the maiden win against Sydney three rounds earlier, held on against West Coast in Round 6, and then punished the Power on the weekend. The last two were at Frankston under lights, but the key was winning the ball at the coalface. Though they lost the contested possessions by two and the clearances by seven, the side laid a massive 70 tackles, winning the count by 30 against one of the top tackling sides in the league. Eighteen of those tackles came inside 50.

“The contested ball … the team that did that the best was going to win the game. We know that we’re a good tackling side and Port Adelaide are a really good tackling side too, and in the end we just had the legs to run it out,” Goddard said.

The talk of the game came in the last minute when Lucas-Rodd – who had played another stellar game – was able to put the icing on the cake for her side with an important goal. She typified the Hawks’ game with 19 disposals, nine tackles, three clearances and 11 contested possessions.

“You could no have scripted that any better for Tilly to kick the last goal,” Goddard said. She’s an amazing person, she’s a great leader, we are so lucky to have her as the captain of our football club. She played terrifically tonight, she expects more of herself than she does of other people and she did that tonight and she did that by example and how lucky we are at Hawthorn that we could share that with her.”

Hawthorn was not without its pre-game challenges, as key forward Tegan Cunningham was a late out, replaced by Sarah Perkins. Cunningham hurt her foot in the warmup, with the ex-Dee set to have scans to see her availability for the coming weeks.

In Round 8, the Hawks travel to Sydney to take on the GWS GIANTS as part of Pride Round. Incredibly, the brown and gold are just percentage out of the eight – albeit a huge percentage – and play their fourth consecutive side inside the bottom five, giving themselves a great chance to do the unthinkable and win yet again. Goddard said the game was about more than just football.

“It’s really exciting, the group’s really excited about Pride Round. We caught up with our Hawks Pride this week and got to find out about the meaning of the jumper and how it came to be,” she said. “We’re really proud to be wearing that jumper in Sydney next week, it’s our first road trip, and to be playing against a really great football club in GWS.”

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